The biggest lesson of this week for me has been PANNING! So fucking important, and can be your best friend in production for 2 reasons - 1. It makes the track sound so much fucking cooler and much more dynamic. 2. It really takes care of many masking problems with shared frequencies. If you start to pan your stabs all over the place...you will find you can actually notice the volume go up on the sound. I learned about this in one of my books this week. Its amazing how much panning with do for your overall clarity...and it makes EQing a lot easier.
Every track must be EQed...no matter what. When finishing a track, put on an EQ 8, and a spectrum. At least shelve the ends a little to clean up any un-needed frequencies. Your mix will become so much clearer after doing this.
Taking a kick within a simpler, and duplicating it to get a better sound is really nice. Analyze the first one and find an octave of the root frequency, then isolate that frequency on a second sample...and then raise the volume on it. You can give your kick an extra punch by using the smallest of click sounds. Its really nice for changing your kick once you start to see the direction of your song.
Also, layer your snares too. Use the same technique, and even use different snare sounds...but again, isolate a frequency matching a multiple of the root.
Less is more. Dropping the sound out can be just as powerful as a build up into the music. We kept trying to see how low we could go with the sound...and ended up being the best part of the whole track.
Automating the bit crusher makes for some really sweet sounds...and actually creates new pitches when doing it. We bitcrushed a conga loop and took the whole song into glitch with arcade sounds panned all over the place. You can see in this picture -
Also, keep your music charts close to you. If you dont understand compression or something like that, its nice to refer to some standards before just randomly turning knobs. It was really useful this weekend when compressing the snares (which I couldnt really remember how to compress just right).
Portamento on a bass is really nice for tech house.
After making your track...and EQing everything and setting your drum rack samples at the right levels....start from scratch on your levels. Work your way up from the kick, snare, bass, and then through the most important elements until you get the least important. Vocals last.
Well thats about it. Theres a million more...but, I wanna get back to mixing. Sorry I havent done any tutorials lately...busy makin tunes!